Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vows to be patient with Virgil van Dijk & Joe Gomez



Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vows to be patient with Virgil van Dijk & Joe Gomez

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp played down the chances of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez making their long-awaited comebacks from injury during the club's pre-season tour of Austria.

Klopp started new signing Ibrahimi Konate and Joel Matip in central defence for the first half against Mainz on Friday night before Nat Phillips and Billy Koumetio featured in a fully changed XI after the break.

Liverpool won 1-0 thanks to a late own goal. Teenage left-back Owen Beck's cross was diverted into his own net by defender Luca Kilian with five minutes left.

Van Dijk and Gomez have not played since last year and are yet to feature in any of the Reds' three pre-season matches.

Asked if the pair would feature in next week's game against Hertha Berlin, Klopp admitted to LFC TV : 'Yeah, it would still be a surprise, unfortunately.

'But they look really good,' he insisted.

Van Dijk has been out since October after he ruptured a cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby, while Gomez suffered a knee injury while on international duty with England in November.

Klopp added: 'We just have to be patient – we prepare for a full season, not for a pre-season game.

'I will not risk it for a game here, so we have to see,' stressed the 54-year-old.

'We have a lot of games still coming, pre-season games, but I don't see them being involved for the next one.'

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